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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

For more information:
Diane Cameron, ANS: 301-655-6049
Dolores Milmoe, ANS: 301-633-8719
Caroline Taylor, MCA: 301-461-9831

Montgomery County Environmentalists Praise Council Action to Protect County's Last, Best Stream

Montgomery County environmentalists praised the County Council for taking action to protect what they called the county's last, best stream — Ten Mile Creek in Clarksburg. Activists hailed the nine-member Council's unanimous decision on October 9 to have the Planning Board prepare a Limited Master Plan Amendment for Ten Mile Creek.

"Ten Mile Creek is Montgomery County's last, best stream, and part of our drinking water supply," said Diane Cameron, Conservation Director for ANS. "We are thrilled that the Council listened to the voices of the people who spoke out in favor of protecting this gem of a natural resource — including the more than 1,000 Montgomery County residents who signed our petition."

"Now, it is the mission of our County's expert planners to find ways to protect both the creek and the land that surrounds it, which filters its water," said Dolores Milmoe, ANS's Maryland Conservation Associate.

The Council's support for a Limited Master Plan amendment for Ten Mile Creek/ Clarksburg Stage 4, came several years after recommendations for this action were made by the Planning Board and the Council's own Ad-Hoc Water Quality Working Group. The Planning Board in 2009, and the majority report for the Working Group in 2010, both recommended a Limited Master Plan Amendment in order to establish science-based watershed protections for Ten Mile Creek.

"The pace and intensity of development in Clarksburg's Stage 4 will now be driven by community needs, current science, and environmental stewardship of regionally important resources — not developer schedules," said Caroline Taylor, Executive Director of the Montgomery Countryside Alliance. "We are all winners in this scenario."

The Council's action yesterday was supported by hundreds of emails and calls received from citizens supporting the Creek's protection, while developers pressured for extensions of water and sewer lines into the forests and farmlands of Ten Mile Creek Watershed.

The Limited Master Plan Amendment for Ten Mile Creek will be a fast-track process, taking 12 to 18 months including both Planning Board and Council review and approval. Three large development parcels, totaling more than 1,600 residential units on nearly 800 acres, are now proposed for this area on both sides of I-270.

"Citizen scientists have been monitoring Ten Mile Creek for 14 years," notes ANS Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator Cathy Wiss. "This creek harbors sensitive animals, including stoneflies, salamanders, trout, and other creatures that make it special and worth saving. That's why we are grateful that the Council did the right thing and directed our expert planners to establish science-based protections for Ten Mile Creek."